Fats are a macronutrient, which means they can be used in the body as an energy source. Beyond energy production, fats play a wide range of roles in the body. Whilst we may have been typically told that fats are bad, they are essential for humans, and we need to consume them. There are two major types of fat:
- Unsaturated fats (comprised of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) – these are found primarily in vegetable and plant products, such avocados, olives & olive oils, and nuts.
- Saturated fats – these are found primarily in animal products, such as meat and dairy.
Saturated fats have historically gotten a bad press and were regarded as unhealthy. However, recent research indicates that this isn’t necessarily the case. That said, it is clear that variation in our genes makes some people tolerate saturated fats better than others. We refer to this in our reports as “sensitivity”. Essentially, the greater your sensitivity to saturated fat, the less you want to consume. The recommended daily intake for saturated fat is 10% of our total calories, and at DNAFit we have to based our recommendations around what the guidelines recommend. As such, for those with a low sensitivity to saturated fats, we recommend 10% of total calories per day. A medium sensitivity is 8%, and low is 6%. If you’re of the belief that humans should consume greater than 10% of their calories from saturated fats (and who are we to argue), then you can use your genetic information to adjust your intake up or down if required.
You can work out how many grams of fat and saturated fat you should consume per day by following this formula:
- Calculate your daily calorie needs by using an online calculator, such as this.
- Multiply your total calories by the recommended fat percentage according to your recommended DNAFit Diet (40% (0.4) for Low Carbohydrate, 30% (0.3) for Mediterranean, and 25% (0.25) for Low Fat) or other plan you wish to follow.
- This gives you the total amount of calories of fat you should consume per day. Divide this number by 9 (because fats contain 9 calories per gram) in order to get the amount in grams.
- This give you your total fat intake, in grams, per day. To find out how much of this should be saturated fat, multiply the percentage recommendation (i.e. 6, 8, or 10%) by your calorie intake, and divide by 9.
For example, this is what it would look like for a 30 year old male who is 180cm tall and 99kg in weight, looking to lose 0.5kg per week, who has been recommended a DNAFit Low Carbohydrate Diet with 10% calories from saturated fat:
2,209 calories per day x 0.4 = 884 calories from fat
884 / 9 = 98 grams of fat per day.
Of which [2209 x 0.1] / 9 = 24.5g can be saturated fat.